Bulletin Staff Report

After opening the season with three wins in four matches at the Oglethorpe University tournament in Georgia, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets were dealt a 3-0 setback by the Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls in Thursday’s home and American Southwest Conference volleyball openers.

Hardin-Simmons, coming off its first ASC volleyball championship, collected a 30-24, 30-21, 30-22 victory at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Howard Payne (3-2, 0-1) received a team-high nine kills from Sydney Bryant, followed by seven from Megan Pick, six from Jessica Jorgensen and five each from Jane Mattingly and Aja Brunner.

Melissa Dennis — the ASC West defensive player of the week after the Oglethorpe tournament — led HPU with 17 digs, followed by 12 from Patricia Brown, seven from Pick, four from Jessica Hutton, three from Mattingly, two from Bryant and one apiece from Jorgensen and Brunner.

Brown also led the Lady Jackets with 28 assists, while Pick tallied one.

The Hardin-Simmons (4-4, 1-0) attack was led by the 13 kills of Kaela Parnell. Cambra Hughes and Megan Lawrence added seven kills each and Amanda Mace recorded five.

Gracen Harris and Amanda Curry shared the team lead with 11 digs each, and Curry also chalked up a team-high 39 assists.

Howard Payne will play in the McMurry tournament Friday and Saturday.